A Beautiful Picture.
!Xun storyteller, !Nisa, changed into her traditional dress for the recent storytelling event on Platfontein in the Northern Cape. Her family no longer lives as hunter-gatherers, but the tradition of storytelling has all but died out – her baby is learning a great repertoire of stories at her mother’s breast – passed on by generations of women in this family.
Every story gives rise to another. So it was with writing The Mud Baby; singing into the silence of losing a child. One story evoked the next until they eventually grew into the compendium they have become.
The Art of Storytelling…
Much of my work is about celebrating the art of storytelling. The Mud Baby does this in its own unique way – as a meditation on the stories people tell when someone they love dies. My book thinks about the value of short-lived lives and gathers together stories from a diverse range of tellers, both ancient and contemporary. It is a eulogy to my nephew, whose long illness inspired the collection of these healing stories and thus enabled the making of this book. I tell this story in more detail in the preface to my book.read more